Niger

Making the land work

August 6, 2012
by 
Kelly Di Domenico, Communications Officer

In Niger, where 80% of the population depends on subsistence farming for its livelihood, getting the land to produce is essential. To see stretches of earth that are rocky and caked dry, languishing with little purpose, feels like an enormous waste, especially at a time when there is not enough food to feed the population.

Not enough food when it is needed the most

August 3, 2012
by 
Kelly Di Domenico, Communications Officer

Niger, like most of the countries in the Sahel, only has one rainy season, which means that the harvest that is cultivated from that rain is crucial to survive through the coming year. The time to plant the harvest, however, comes at a time when last year’s crop is nearly depleted and there is little, if anything, left to eat. It is a time when there is not enough food when it is needed most. To plant a field and work the soil requires energy, energy that is hard to find when there is nothing to eat.

More refugees are arriving every day

July 31, 2012
by 
Kelly Di Domenico, Communications Officer

"There are more refugees arriving every day." These were the words of Nassar, the Caritas Niger representative who accompanied us to the Tabarey Baley refugee camp in Ayourou, close to the Malian border. It is the beginning of the desert here, where the air is dry and the sun is strong. In early February, Malians began to cross the border into Niger to escape violence in their villages by fundamental Islamist groups that have taken over the North of the country.

Food distribution and speculation

July 29, 2012
by 
Guy Des Aulniers, Program Officer for Emergency Relief

We are in the Sae Saboua commune, in the Maradi Diocese. Today, 234 households from four villages are each receiving 80 kg of millet, 21 kg of "niébé" (dried beans) and 5 litres of cooking oil. This ration is intended to feed a family of seven for a month. As the men are in the fields, it is largely the women that gather at the distribution points. It is now the rainy season in this part of Niger and the millet that was planted with the initial rains in June is already well along and needs to be weeded. If all goes well, that is if the rainy season does not bring floods, if the crop doesn't dry up from lack of rain, or if caterpillars don't ravage the crop as was the case last year, the harvest is due at the end of September.

Maradi

July 28, 2012
by 
Guy Des Aulniers, Program Officer for Emergency Relief

We are in Maradi about 650 km away from Niamey, Niger's capital. Maradi is the country's breadbasket, which also makes it its economic capital. However, we are also 25 km from Nigeria and everything from sugar to cars here comes from Nigeria. Boko Haram is also rampant in northern Nigeria and its influence in the area is very much felt, for example with the full veil being predominant. Tensions with the Christians are such that the Church failed to issue its traditional pre-Ramadan greeting on July 21st this year.

A village gets a boost

July 27, 2012
by 
Kelly Di Domenico, Communications Officer

The village of Garbeygourou is found off an uneven dirt road that stretches over red sandy earth that has turned even brighter after a recent rainfall. The village itself only seems to be formed of a small cluster of huts, yet when we arrive and the village chief comes out to greet us, people begin to trickle out, slowly grouping in the middle of the village. Before we know it, there are at least 100 men, women, children and babies milling about behind us, with more arriving by the second. The village is receiving support from Caritas Niger because of food insecurity. Many families do not have enough to eat, and a there have been a few cases of severe malnutrition in some children.

Finding Niger

July 26, 2012
by 
Kelly Di Domenico, Communications Officer

Niger is one of those countries that seems forgotten on the map, a place at the edge of the world that feels like it has been lost in time. The imagination can't even seem to conjure what it would look like because we hear so little about it. Yet, this large African country is currently experiencing a food crisis that is affecting 6 million people.

New video shows reality of hunger in Niger

July 11, 2012
by 
Kelly Di Domenico, Communications Officer

Caritas Internationalis has just released Niger: On the Hunger Frontline, a new video about the current situation in Niger, where over 6 million people are touched by food shortages and at risk of suffering from malnutrition. It shows how Caritas Niger, who is supported by Development and Peace, is making a difference with its program to help communities cope with this hunger crisis.

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Catholics across Canada mobilize for West Africa

June 22, 2012
by 
Josianne Gauthier, Deputy Executive Director
Niger is one of the countries currently affected by a food crisis

The drought and food shortages currently affecting 18 million people in six countries in West Africa are signs of a growing humanitarian crisis in the region. Although this situation is receiving little media attention, Catholics are not waiting for the crisis to worsen in order to start acting. Most Rev.

Situation worsening in Mali and West Africa

April 5, 2012
by 
by Guy Des Aulniers, Emergency Programs Officer

Since this past January, over 200,000 people have fled their homes in Mali, mainly due to rebel offenses in the north of the country. Of this number, 107,000 have taken refuge in other parts of the country, while the rest have fled to neighbouring Mauritania, Niger, Burkina Faso and Algeria.

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